TV is a marvellous thing one can suddenly see the most unexpected things and be inspired to do something. Regular presenter Mike Dilger was hunting down a rare British butterfly, read ‘rare’ as in ‘native habitat destroyed in the main and consequently not many about anymore’.

He waved about a book ‘looking a lot like this one’ and mentioned he had seen all of them bar one, which he then proceeded to find and share with the nation on TV but what struck me was the idea of seeing and noting the various native butterflies. As a child we saw hundreds of Peacocks and Monarch some little blue and silvery ones and plenty of cabbage whites. If my mother saw the Cabbage white’s they were squished, cabbages being more important than butterflies at that point in life!

British Butterflies Book coverMore recently I have also seen and vibrant red one flitting about on my allotment along with the occasional blue and several browny ones (hmm need for more observation there methinks!) flitting about on my garden Agastache. So in readiness for next years slew of butterfly hunting outings I am preparing myself through the winter months with the Butterfly book and digging out my free National Trust binoculars, so I can not down what they actually look like. I might even deface my ‘old but new to me book’ by writing in where and when I see them.

Another alternative to defacing my books is to use the iRecord feature on the  National Biodiversity Network website to log observations and sitings.

Of course I could simply head out to the local butterfly farm !

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  • Alastair

    I tried photographing all the butterflies that visited the garden this summer. It was a pretty cold and wet year, but I was surprised by the variety. They all just looked red, white or blue when I was chasing them round, but with photos you can actually spot the differences afterwards and identify them more easily. The blue ones were the hardest to photograph because they never sat still long enough.
    Eleven different types in the end…

    • 11 different types is pretty impressive. Did you manage to identify them all? I’ve had a recent visitor of a Red and Black winged beauty, the Cinnabar I think. You have reminded me to start really looking for these beautiful visitors again.

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